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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

When micro-organisms become resistant to antimicrobial agents such as antibiotics, they develop antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR is a health concern for human and non-human antimicrobial usage. Its management and prevention have become more difficult over the past few decades because of excessive use of antimicrobial medicines and the slower marketing of new classes of antimicrobials.

To tackle antimicrobial resistance, a holistic, multi-sectorial approach, involving many different sectors (human medicine, veterinary medicine, research, animal husbandry, agriculture, environment, trade and communication) is needed.

Commission's 5-Year Action Plan on AMR – November 2011

The Commission's 2011 action plan against the rising threats from antimicrobial resistance pdf contains 12 actions for implementation with EU member countries and identifies 7 areas where measures are most necessary:

  • making sure antimicrobials are used appropriately in both humans and animals
  • preventing microbial infections and their spread
  • developing new effective antimicrobials or alternatives for treatment
  • cooperating with international partners to contain the risks of AMR
  • improving monitoring and surveillance in human and animal medicine
  • promoting research and innovation
  • improving communication, education and training.

Related information

Progress report

The Commission has compiled a detailed overview of the 12 Actions covered by the Action plan in a roadmap, including the operational objectives, the concrete activities and the deadlines. A progress report on the AMR Action Plan published in February 2015, shows the state of play of steps taken to address AMR.

Commission activities on AMR in veterinary medicine



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